Derby Grammar School’s Year 6 pupils have been learning all about Fairtrade and have been trying out what they’ve learnt in Christian Aids Chocolate Trade Game.

The school works closely with Tanya Noon, Central England Co-Op member and Community Relations Officer to deliver the programme. Initially Year 6 visited the local Co-Op store in Littleover to find out more about ethical sourcing of products, before taking part in the Chocolate Trade Game workshop back at school.

Fairtrade is all about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair prices for workers and farmers. The Christian Aid Chocolate Trade Game looks at the experience of Ghanaian cocoa farmers in the cocoa trading chain.

The game highlights the role of international trade in the manufacture and marketing of the chocolate and the way that the trading system affects the lives and livelihoods of the farmers. The roles within the game include Fairtrade and independent cocoa farmers, Fairtrade and independent chocolate companies and supermarkets.

By taking part in the game pupils can see for themselves the difficulties experienced by the workers in the chocolate trade and the benefits of fair trade. At the same time, they work together as teams, negotiating their deals.

Tanya said: “The boys have been learning how Fairtrade farmers are paid at a reasonable level, rather than being squeezed by larger suppliers.

The Co-Op is very active in this area and ensuring members of the community are aware of fair trade and our ethical business model.”

Reverend Paul Taylor is Derby Grammar School’s Chaplain and runs the workshops alongside Tanya. He said: “I’ve been running this workshop in one form or another for 10 years now, and always in partnership with the Co-Op. It really makes the children aware of their surroundings and think about who has produced their food.”

Tom Miln is in Year 6. He said: “Learning about Fairtrade has made me feel quite different/ I understand a lot more about what has gone in to making a product before it appears in a shop.
I really enjoyed making the poster. I used my Chromebook to create the basic design and then added to it by hand/ My poster was about Fairtrade and facts about the Co-Op. I thought the Co-Op was a new shop, I didn’t realise it was formed in the 1800s by the Rochdale Pioneers.”

The topic culminated with the boys designing a poster to display everything they had learnt about Fairtrade.